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xxxHOLiC Episode 15: Favorites

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xxxHOLiC Episode 15 – Quick Summary

In xxxHOLiC episode 15, “Release,” Watanuki learned the truth of Yuuko’s warning about “words,” which was: “They are frightening, words…” Watanuki could see the damage the older twin sister did to herself with her words. Watanuki being Watanuki, he wanted to help. But what could he do? Was there anything Doumeki could do to help? And is the younger twin sister really as nice as she appears?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from xxxHOLiC Episode 15

xxxHOLiC Episode 15: Doumeki has evolved defenses against Watanuki

Doumeki has come up with a self-defense strategy. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Watanuki tried hard to help the older sister. At one point, he even told her she should do more than just stop talking negatively about herself. She should be positive! In fact, he told her that she should never say something can’t be done unless she tries.

The advice sounded good – when it was used against him! Towards the end of the episode, Yuuko went on about hot a hot dish would be delicious, even in summer. Doumeki agreed. He even asked Watanuki to make it for his school lunch.

Watanuki protested that there was no way he could prepare a hot dish for a school lunch. Doumeki reminded Watanuki of what he had told the older sister.

“This is no time for you to be throwing my lines back at me!” he said (21:16).

Doumeki just plugged his ears.

Favorite Moment from xxxHOLiC Episode 15

xxxHOLiC Episode 15: Doumeki didn't hesitate to pick up and move the younger sister

Doumeki just picked her up and made sure she was out of Yuuko’s way! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: What? A Happy Ending?

First, do my eyes deceive me, or did we just get a happy ending? I think we just got a happy ending! I’m kinda glad about that. I liked the twins, and the older twin’s habit of tearing herself down is something I could understand and sympathize with. I’m glad they ended up in a realistically better place.

My favorite moment is one of those blink-and-you’ll-miss it kind of things. It’s a comment on the relationship between Doumeki, Watanuki, and Yuuko. I see these things happen, and I can see how they’re part of a pattern. But they leave me wondering: just how much does Doumeki talk to Yuuko off camera? Or does he have to talk to her – do they share some kind of innate understanding?

xxxHOLiC Episode 15: Yuuko is Yuuko

If this were an ordinary show, I’d say Doumeki was simply smitten with Yuuko. Because, you know – it’s Yuuko. But I think there’s more to it. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Towards the end of the episode, as the older sister tried to serve drinks to Watanuki and Doumeki, the younger sister came in. Under the guise of caring for her sister, she proceeded to rip her sister’s confidence apart. It go so bad that the older sister dumped hot tea on Doumeki.

Who didn’t even flinch.

Watanuki saw – or maybe imagined seeing – a web of negativity immobilized her. Aghast, Watanuki rushed to her side and knelt.

Delivery: But It Didn’t Look Happy the Whole Time!

He tried to reason with her; she wasn’t hearing him. “Please,” he said (16:57). “Don’t give up now!”

Her younger sister came to her other side. Under the guise of protecting her, she protested that her older sister needed protecting. Watanuki sagged; he couldn’t take on both of them, because he didn’t have the words.

xxxHOLiC Episode 15: Watanuki saw the ties that bound the older sister

What Watanuki saw horrified him. But he didn’t have the rhetorical skill to do anything about it yet. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

That’s when Yuuko showed up. She showed that she understood the situation perfectly. She took a step towards the two sisters. Without prompting, without a word, Doumeki grabbed the younger sister and hauled her to one side (17:30) to give Yuuko space to talk. Then he held her there.

I’m positive I didn’t see any hand sign or other communication from Yuuko. Doumeki just acted. There have also been times when he suggested that he knew he had to protect Watanuki – but turned it into a joke when Watanuki asked. What’s going on here? I trust the writer so much that I know these are intentional clues. That makes it a lot of fun to engage in conjecture!

What did you think of this episode’s theme? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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9 thoughts on “xxxHOLiC Episode 15: Favorites

  1. Hell yeah for a Doumecki centered look at the series. He and Yuuko may talk off camera, but I think Doumecki also has a deep understanding of what needs to be done and how to do it in a very uninvasive, inoffensive, matter of fact way – his way. I did love that moment when he simply lifted up the younger sister and removed her from the conversation – although she could use to hear it, too.

    This episode really hits me in the feels for the reason entertainment so often does to all of us – it’s deeply personal to me. I think, in the twins case, the family probably observed a bit of klutziness in the older twin in the freaking cradle and then with loving kindness constantly reinforced that belief in the honest desire to protect her. (I was thinking this morning how it doesn’t matter what style of parenting you follow, the kids hit their teens and you find out how it was WRONG – LOL – but that’s a whole ‘nother subject)

    I was raised by abusers and then married another abuser, like we often do. These people had a vested interest in tearing me down. I thoroughly internalized these negative words and thoughts about how stupid, clumsy, etc. I am. I carried a straight A average and every year worried myself to actual physical illness that I would inevitably be “found out” this year and be flunked out, that’s how strong this belief was. Thanks to some great New Age teachers, books, tapes, and some very blessed mentors – and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Don’t dream it, be it) I exited this life of abuse and learned the power of words and affirmations the turn around was astounding. And yet, when I look back, I personally always had these talents and abilities and intelligence, etc. and, in fact, I think I was pretty threatening to my ex husbands ego more than anything else. But this doesn’t happen overnight, and it is like addiction, a never ending battle. If I have a series of setbacks, decisions that go wrong, it’s so easy to fall back into the trap of “nothing I do is right, I always make things worse” and so on.

    So I guess my point is I am so happy for the older sister, although I know her path is just begun. It’s going to take time, some actual successes, and internal determination (guts) to catch herself and keep herself in that positive mindset. In a way, she has an even harder road ahead than I did. It was pretty easy to see my family were abusers, and that I had to completely get away from them to get away from the abuse (I was the scrapegoat kid). I think it may be even harder to be surrounded by people who truly love you and care about you who are conditioned through experience and habit to “take care of you” by reinforcing these negative words of “be careful, you know you can’t do that, oh, don’t try, you’ll fail” In fact, she has to not only retrain herself, but retrain her entire family. If that is even possible (but I think it is, as they clearly support the other twin who is outgoing and so on).

    Yes, finally a happy ending. Except that in my mind, it’s a happy beginning of a long, long path.

    1. This episode hit me the same way. My situation was kind of like the scenario the twins were in. Except, my family really didn’t know how to interact with the farm boy who was interested in science fiction and didn’t quite fit the neurological patterns, when such things weren’t even known. If I had been big and dumb, they would have known how to deal with me. But big and not kinda smart — but dumb in some ways? I was a confusing mess from their perspective.

      I’m still trying to figure out how to think about all that.

      But one thing I think’s clear: I inherited my family’s default position on life: everyone’s out to get us, and if something goes wrong, blame them. I’m still working on getting rid of that attitude. It’s amazing how subtle that can be!

      I’ve never understood the mindset that would try to pull someone down because they are talented. That’s a glaring admission of inferiority, not from a talent perspective — everyone’s talented in different ways — but from a humanity perspective. If you’re pulling someone down like that, it’s an admission of weakness. A very obvious admission.

      Don’t those people know what they’re broadcasting?

      It remind me of stories I’ve heard about some women in the US south learning to speak more quietly and to say inoffensive things, so they don’t offend the men in their lives. I simply can’t image being a man who’s so fragile, the sound of a strong woman’s voice freaks me out.

      I mean, come on. Have a little pride.

      I think you’re right — she’s on the beginning of a long, long path. I loved that realism. She’s not — poof! — all better! She’s just on the right track. I found that very reassuring.

      1. My Dear Mother flat out stated to me, on more than one occassion, “Everyone is out to get you always” and that’s how she lived her life. She also told me that a woman can NOT get through life without a MAN. Not that he is useful, but you need his NAME to accomplish anything – and in her times and her place that was actually true. In fact, as a young woman I once attempted to take out a loan at a loan place that my first husband and I had active loans at (1970s Oklahoma) and was told they would not approve it until they HAD HIS PERMISSION even though I specifically did not have his name on it (it was for a present for him). Later when I divorced him in 1985 I went to take out ONE HALF of the balance in our checking account, and again, the bank had to call HIM and get HIS PERMISSION to remove half the balance – never mind that I put all of my paychecks into that account and I was generally working two jobs to his one at that time. Did ja’ hear that girls? You who are saying women are so underpriveledged now… yeah, well, we really have come a long way baby. 😛

        But back to the show – yes, I really appreciate that they show it’s the first step on a long road. I get a tiny bit annoyed at so much media now that shows “poof, all cured now!” when I know damn good and well that it’s “first step on a long road”. The problem with that is that when someone takes that first step, and then realizes it’s a long road – not instant cure – some people give up and immediately relapse or live their lives angry that they didn’t get the insta-cure they feel they were promised. Instead of being a positive step, it becomes more negative reinforcement. And then if you have people around you saying, “see…that’s okay, we knew you would never make it…”

        With mental/intellectual differences, it seems they are really each so individual (although there are some commonalities) I don’t know if there will ever be any way for people, both the person affected, and their family, to have any sort of an example or guidelines for coping. Smart on this, but not on that – it’s confusing. And yet, if you think about it, we are all just like that, but maybe not to such an extreme. I can work on cars engine wise, but the plumbing I’ve been doing on the RV is killing me LOL for instance. We all have things we are good at, and things we just cannot understand for some reason. I have a picture in my mind of a graph where you see a line for “most folks” that is sort of a wave and a line for “mentally alt” that’s a bit more mountains and valleys. It’s cool though to see the world is coming to see this and find ways to accept and live together for everyone.

        1. I remember when I got married, my wife wanted to maintain separate accounts. At first, I took that as a sign she didn’t trust me. Then she told me pretty much exactly what you said. So, I could either support her or be a jerk about it.

          I made the purely selfish decision to support her. Made both our lives easier!

          You bring up a good point about the expectation of an insta-cure causing havoc. I’ve seen many pharmacological claims of a perfect cure. And don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-Western medicine by any means. But in my experience, I’ve never seen a pharmacological solution that was 100%. The best they can do is blunt the symptoms so a patient can get ahead of them.

          Which is a huge step forward. If you have that expectation.

          You also bring up a great point about how confusing the whole situation is. Putting aside how some families still attach stigma to mental illnesses, it’s hard to define what constitutes mental illness. We like anime — yet, some folks would condemn us out of hand. And that’s a simple example!

          A local counselor gave me the best definition I’ve encountered. He said a condition can be considered an illness if it interferes with day-to-day life. I love that as a working definition. But I think you can see the problem — the definition depends on a given society and even a given society at a specific point in time. Enjoying anime is more accepted now than it was 20 years ago, for example. That means that individual diagnoses depend on twitchy cultural norms.

          I wonder if Yuuko offers followup services as part of her contracts? I’d love to see a series where Yuuko and Watanuki check up on past patients. That’s be a lot of fun to watch!

          1. I would think she does. So much of what she offers is less a perfect solution than opening the door for you to being a process. And while only you can walk through the door and down the path, it can sure help to have that phone call to a friend when you feel lost…

            I agree with that counselor that it’s only an illness if it interferes with day to day life. And therein, as you said, is the problem. Because I might be perfectly happy with my life, while my mother or someone else might judge my life as misspent or dysfunction because it doesn’t fit their definition of what a life should be like. We are so judgemental in todays society and especially on Internet, social media, etc. It’s a bit dangerous to be an outlier.

            Don’t even get me started on the Insta-cure subject or we’ll be here all day.

  2. I totally think Doumeki and Yuuko have conversations off camera. I’ve had an inkling that there are quite a few events that happen off camera that we as viewers only get hints at. I also think that a lot more supernatural stuff happens to Doumeki that he lets on to Watanuki about. Honestly I would love to see a series from Doumeki’s point of view!

Please let me know what you think!

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